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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

US open: Stocks mixed as FOMC minutes remain in focus

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street trading got off to a mixed start on Thursday following the release of minutes from last month's FOMC meeting. As of 1510 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.46% at 37,600.55, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.17% to 4,712.68 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 0.21% weaker at 14,562.21.

The Dow opened 170.36 points higher on Thursday, reclaiming much of yesterday's loss that came amid ongoing speculation regarding central bankers' potential moves around monetary policy.

Yesterday's minutes from the latest Federal Open Markets Committee pointed to greater hawkishness than implied by the market reaction to its December meeting, indicating that policymakers had viewed the policy rate as likely to be "at or near its peak" for this tightening cycle.

However, they also noted that the path ahead will depend on "how the economy evolves" and reaffirmed that it "would be appropriate" for policy to remain at "a restrictive stance for some time" until inflation was clearly moving down "sustainably".

On the macro front for Thursday, private sector employment in the US rose more than expected in December, according to ADP. Employment increased by 164,000 from November, versus expectations for a 115,000 jump. November's gain was revised down to 101,000 from 103,000.

On another note, Americans lined up for unemployment benefits at a decelerated clip in the week ended 30 December, according to the Labor Department, hitting the lowest claim count since October. Jobless claims in the US fell by 18,000 to 202,000 in the final week of the year, firmly below market expectations for a reading of 216,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 2,000 to 220,000.

Elsewhere, S&P Global's services PMI was revised slightly higher to 51.4 in December, up from a preliminary reading of 51.3, continuing to point to the strongest growth in the services sector in five months. New orders rose at the sharpest rate since June, with firms increasing hiring activity as a result.

In the corporate space, Walgreens Boots Alliance almost cut its dividend in half on Thursday despite reporting a significantly improved loss per share of $0.08, up from $4.31 at the same time a year earlier, and a 10% sales jump to $36.7bn, while Apple traded lower in pre-market after analysts at Piper Sandler downgraded the tech behemoth just days after Barclays did the same as a result of overstretched valuations and uncertainty regarding future interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve and fears that investors may have grown overly optimistic.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com

Dow Jones - Risers

Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $116.81 1.77% Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $39.76 1.54% Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $193.64 1.22% Home Depot Inc. (HD) $341.47 0.95% Boeing Co. (BA) $245.58 0.68% Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $545.26 0.60% JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $172.32 0.58% Visa Inc. (V) $259.40 0.55% 3M Co. (MMM) $108.31 0.48% Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $383.59 0.47%

Dow Jones - Fallers

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $22.67 -11.34% Intel Corp. (INTC) $46.28 -1.65% Apple Inc. (AAPL) $181.65 -1.41% Nike Inc. (NKE) $103.03 -0.97% Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $50.21 -0.59% Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $91.19 -0.50% Salesforce.Com Inc. (CRM) $250.58 -0.50% Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $59.87 -0.15% Walmart Inc. (WMT) $159.21 -0.06% Amgen Inc. (AMGN) $300.55 -0.05%

S&P 500 - Risers

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (LW) $108.88 3.76% Allstate Corp (The) (ALL) $149.72 3.26% Dollar General Corp (DG) $134.09 2.14% Comerica Inc. (CMA) $55.70 1.87% Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) $160.75 1.81% Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) $116.81 1.77% Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH) $17.61 1.70% Progressive Corp. (PGR) $165.90 1.67% Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) $482.78 1.66% Zions Bancorporation (ZION) $42.67 1.60%

S&P 500 - Fallers

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $22.67 -11.34% Apache Corp. (APA) $34.40 -6.38% Qorvo, Inc. (QRVO) $101.91 -3.58% Under Armour Inc. Class A (UAA) $7.95 -2.81% Foot Locker Inc. (FL) $28.29 -2.78% Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP) $82.28 -2.71% Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) $0.54 -2.69% Under Armour, Inc. (UA) $7.60 -2.56% Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) $184.44 -2.39% VF Corp. (VFC) $17.10 -2.34%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers

Trip.com Group Limited (TCOM) $37.51 3.12% Vodafone Group Plc ADS (VOD) $8.99 1.52% Incyte Corp. (INCY) $66.25 1.14% Micron Technology Inc. (MU) $83.08 1.00% Fiserv Inc. (FI) $133.06 0.99% Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) $94.15 0.99% Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) $234.46 0.84% Monster Beverage Corp (MNST) $57.95 0.82% Expedia Group Inc. (EXPE) $146.01 0.70% Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) $413.54 0.69%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $22.70 -11.22% Qurate Retail Inc. (QRTEA) $0.79 -2.81% Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP) $82.28 -2.71% Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) $184.60 -2.31% PACCAR Inc. (PCAR) $92.81 -2.19% Sirius XM Holdings Inc (SIRI) $5.32 -2.11% Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN) $145.55 -1.97% Skyworks Solutions Inc. (SWKS) $103.14 -1.97% QUALCOMM Inc. (QCOM) $135.30 -1.77% Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) $149.58 -1.71%

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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